Occupation: Founder/Owner of Body Brave
About the business: Body Brave is local social enterprise that offers support and guidance to young adults struggling with mental health issues, specifically eating and body image issues, to build happier, healthier lives. We offer online support, workshops, one-on-one counseling and peer support. Our team includes a physician and psychotherapist, meditation and yoga teachers and peer mentors.
Find Me At:
Why are you in Hamilton?
I moved from India to Hamilton when I was 11 years old. I’m bicultural and moving was a difficult process, but Hamilton was such a welcoming, diverse place to call home. I fell in love instantly! Before starting Body Brave, I completed a Master’s in Business and Economics and worked for the Burlington Economic Development Corporation. But my Hamilton roots were calling! I bought a house in Hamilton this summer and now I live, work and play here.
Tell us about your work.
I am the founder and owner of Body Brave. We offer support and guidance to young adults struggling with mental health issues, specifically body image and eating issues. I suffered from an eating disorder during my late teens and early 20s. Through a unique combination of tools and skills I was able to recover. These issues are incredibly prevalent in our society today, yet we are always hesitant to talk about them. Through workshops, support groups, social media and peer counselling, Body Brave hopes to bring these issues into the mainstream where they can be talked about without shame or stigma.
Why did you sign up for the HIVE newsletter and/or why did you join a HIVE member group?
It’s a great time to be a young professional in Hamilton! There is so much going on and so many talented, motivated youth creating buzz in the city right now. The HIVE newsletters help me keep the pulse on what’s going on and let me easily sign up for events. After attending this year’s dynamic HIVEX Conference, I signed up to be a member. It’s not always easy to break into the market as a company addressing mental health issues, but HIVE has been really supportive and responsive.
HIVEX is a young professional conference organized by Hamilton HIVE. In your view, why is it important to have a conference dedicated to young professionals?
Conferences like HIVEX create a space where young professionals can network, learn, and grow together. Being a young professional isn’t easy! Conferences like this can help you feel supported and excited about your hard work. It also provides fertile ground for a plethora of new and innovative ideas to grow.
How do you think HIVEX can help young professionals like yourself achieve a personal goal?
For me, HIVEX helped me to develop a clear, defined identity for Body Brave. When you are surrounded by so many other great individuals, you are forced to take a good look at your own values and goals. HIVEX really makes you ask yourself questions fundamental to your business and your own personal growth. HIVEX workshops also offer practical skills and tools. Expanding and refreshing your toolbox is an essential part of staying innovative and creative.
What is Hamilton’s biggest opportunity?
The biggest opportunity lies in the incredible energy that seems to be propelling the city forward right now. Everyone, including young professionals, seem to be willing and excited to support each other! People are proud to be Hamiltonians.
What is your advice for YPs looking at Hamilton?
Dive in! Get involved, get engaged and don’t be afraid to express your ideas. Hamilton is redefining itself. Now is the time to add your voice to the mix!
How can Hamilton HIVE help move Hamilton forward?
Keep offering opportunities and events for a diverse range of individuals to come together and share their ideas. The networking groups are such a great way for young professionals to support and learn from each other.
What is your favourite place in Hamilton?
I love Rapscallion!